Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu – NCDC chief
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the deadly coronavirus pandemic will get to all the 36 states in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the agency, Chikwe Ihekweazu, while speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme on Thursday.
Already, the disease has affected 407 individuals in Nigeria across 22 states. While 128 persons had been discharged, Nigeria has recorded 12 deaths.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr Ihekweazu said it will spread to all states as he compared the virus to Lassa Fever.
“We have responded to Lassa smoothly and nobody shut down the country because it wasn’t necessary, the response was fairly efficient.
“Now, COVID-19 is on a much larger scale – at the moment in 22 states but it will grow to every state in Nigeria, there is no reason why it won’t – it is a respiratory virus.”
He said NCDC will continue to be transparent with its operations and emphasised that the virus “will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt.”
“We just activated the lab in Kano a few days ago. So, these are the results of the increased testing capacity that we are providing for the country.”
“The tests are fairly robust; I can’t say 100 per cent but they are as close to that as possible. We had the highest number of positive cases in a single day.”
“Since the onset of the outbreak, we are testing a lot more (and) that is beginning to show. It is only so much we can do from NCDC; we are working with the state governments,” Mr Ihekweazu said.
“They actually own the response at the state and local levels, and we need all of them now. We really have to face the reality that this is an outbreak, this is a virus.
“It will circulate in Nigeria, absolutely no doubt and our responsibility as a country is to prepare more, to be able to detect, isolate, treat, list contacts, and stop transmission,” he noted.